The U.S. on Thursday announced an additional $30 million in humanitarian assistance to support flood-hit populations of Pakistan, particularly in Sindh province.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that the United States is providing an additional $30 million in response to severe flooding in Pakistan, bringing our total support to nearly $100 million this year,” said U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome in a message from Sukkur, where he helped distribute emergency aid items to local residents. “We have been here for the people of Pakistan since the beginning, supporting the most vulnerable communities. With these new funds, the United States will expand upon its existing response, enabling USAID to reach more than 1.8 million people in Pakistan,” he added.
In an accompanying statement, the U.S. Embassy said the total assistance to Pakistan for flood response, food security, and disaster preparedness and capacity building efforts has now reached $97 million. It said the new funding would expand efforts to address immediate needs, scaling up assistance to the most affected communities and providing life-saving food, nutrition, and health assistance to mitigate increased food insecurity and malnutrition resulting from the impact of the floods, as well as curb the rise of diseases resulting from stagnant flood waters.
“The new funding will also provide shelter supplies to help families rebuild as well as winterization kits to help families prepare as cold weather approaches,” it said, adding that the U.S. was providing “increased protection support” for girls and women to prevent gender-based violence as well as provide support for survivors. “The United States is deeply saddened by the devastating loss of life and livelihoods throughout Pakistan. We stand with the people of Pakistan during this difficult time,” it added.
On Thursday, Ambassador Blome visited Shikarpur and Makhno village and helped distribute emergency shelter, latrine, and hygiene kits to flood-affected people. He also spoke with flood victims to learn about the impact of the flooding and understand their needs.
Reacting to the announcement, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif thanked Washington and hoped it would encourage the rest of the world to do likewise. “Grateful to U.S. government for the announcement of an additional $30 million in humanitarian assistance for flood victims,” he said in a posting on Twitter. “With the start of winter, challenges of food, health and shelter still persist. World should promptly contribute to U.N. aid appeal to mitigate the impact of tragedy,” he added.